This morning I woke up to the surprise that Devin Townsend had released a new video for his song, ‘Stormbending’. I had seen some pictures and green screen footage, and I knew something was coming, but I was not expecting to be so moved by the product. And yes, I’d heard the song a million times (because I both love it and am also writing a review for the album that it is on), but the video is particularly powerful.
The video begins with shots of the band playing in a dreary, dark landscape, covered by buildings and concrete. There is a young girl who is digging on a beach, who is joined later by a young boy. They both start digging more fervently, and find a little sprouting sapling, which stands as a stark contrast to the dreariness of the video. After this discovery, they are overcome by storms, earthquakes, and tornadoes, and the two children cling tightly to each other as the landscape is destroyed completely. But, unexpectedly, the darkness is replaced by a vibrant, healthy forest landscape, with mountains and trees and light.
I feel like 2016 has been a difficult year for myself and for a lot of people around me. I’m sure that can be extended past my network and to the billions of people who struggle. Hope is sometimes elusive for those who are struggling, and it is very easy to become apathetic or even nihilistic as you are rocked by storms. For me, the sapling represents hope. When compared to the rest of the landscape, it seems almost inconsequential. And for most of the video, it is. When darkness seems great, hope can feel tiny, and can feel that way for a really long time. During storms, it can almost feel like escape is impossible. But, in the end of the video, the hope springs into something beautiful, vibrant, and alive, and that eventually overtakes the darkness.
As the video ended, I found myself in tears. Past the distortion and guitar solos, there is almost a spiritual quality to Devin’s music. A secular sermon that yes, life IS hard, and challenges WILL come, but hope is there. Metal music has a reputation for being pessimistic and angry, but I feel like Devin Townsend’s message of positivity and hope is a breath of fresh air in a world that needs that, badly.
Check out the video below, and check out Devin Townsend’s new album Transcendence here.